FRENCH DEMOCRACY by Valery Giscard d'Estaing


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If Giscard is in serious political difficulty at the present time, this book will help us understand the. reasons why. The French President promises a great deal--but the promises are vague, and the proposals for making good on them even more so. Claiming that both socialism and ""traditional liberalism"" are inadequate for an understanding of contemporary realities and future possibilities, Giscard seeks to provide a nameless alternative. He runs through the familiar problems: urban misdevelopment; insecurity of the aged, the sick, and youth; inflation; environmental rape; etc. But his only attempt at a plan of action turns out to be a naive Keynesian model of a regulated market economy camouflaged with fashionable jargon about the ""quality of life."" Since the French economy already fits this description, and the problems are nevertheless there, Giscard's rhetoric remains empty. He appeals to popular discontent while warning of the dangers of ""collectivism""--the French Right's catchword for the policies of the United Left. Next year's legislative elections loom behind every paragraph, undermining Giscard's effort to project himself as the nation's leader, standing above the interests of party politics. A book of little substance and limited vision.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday